As a retiree, San Diego State University’s former vice president of business and financial affairs Sally Roush has done well by the taxpayer-funded state university system.
After stepping down from her $301,957 a year position in June 2013, Roush began being paid a state pension that as of 2015 amounted to an annual $175,187, per the website Transparent California. But Roush didn’t remain out of state harness for long. In November 2013, university trustees voted to pay her an annual salary of $270,000 plus a $1000 monthly car allowance as the California university system’s interim vice chancellor for business and finance, serving until a permanent replacement was found for Benjamin F. Quillian. He had abruptly departed just months before, the same week an audit unearthed multiple questionable travel expenses racked up by an employee of the university system’s Risk Management Authority.
As acting administrator, Roush collected both her six-figure pension, temporary pay, and auto allowance until the June 2014 hiring of Steve Relyea. Now Roush is back double-dipping, this time as acting SDSU president following the sudden exit of Elliot Hirshman in the midst of the school’s battle against a group of wealthy La Jolla hedge-fund mavens trying to take control of publicly owned Qualcomm Stadium.
“Chancellor [Timothy] White recommends that Ms. Sally F. Roush receive an annual salary of $428,645 effective July 1, 2017, the date of her appointment as interim president of San Diego State University,” according to a May 23 agenda item adopted at the university trustees meeting. “This is the current salary of President Elliot Hirshman and complies with Trustee policy on presidential compensation, established in November 2015.”
Additionally, “In accord with existing policy, Ms. Roush will be entitled to a vehicle allowance of $1,000 per month and will receive standard benefit provisions afforded CSU Executive classification employees.” On top of that, says the document, “The president’s residence at San Diego State will be undergoing necessary maintenance this year and will not be available during the presidential transition. If it becomes necessary for Ms. Roush to lease a residence while serving as interim president, she will be eligible for an annual housing allowance of $60,000. If necessary, she would be reimbursed actual, necessary and reasonable moving and relocation expenses, in accordance with Trustee policy.”
But there is a bit of at least temporary good news for taxpayers: “At this time, Ms. Roush has waived the housing allowance.”